Chattanooga shooter Mohammad Abdulazeez told a friend that ISIS was “doing wrong” and “it was a stupid group and it was completely against Islam,” the friend told CNN on Monday.

The friend, James Petty, also said that Abdulazeez taught him how to shoot an AR-15 assault rifle and that the two would practice in the woods.

The revelations about Abdulazeez came as sources told CNN that writings uncovered by investigators indicated Abdulazeez was displeased with the U.S. government, particularly its war on terror.

The writings are not thought to be recent — some are more than a year old, predating his much-publicized trip to Jordan — and should not be considered a diary of any sort, according to a person familiar with the family’s interviews with investigators and a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

The writings also include other anti-U.S. sentiments and are consistent with someone who is having suicidal thoughts, the sources said.

As the country mourns the deaths of five service members gunned down Thursday in Tennessee, investigators in both the United States and Jordan are trying to learn what prompted the attack.

Abdulazeez first shot up a military recruiting center at a Chattanooga strip mall, then drove to a local Navy operations support center and launched another attack, killing four Marines and a sailor. Abdulazeez died in a gunfight with law enforcement.

New details have emerged over the past few days. Among them:

• Abdulazeez suffered from depression and “was not the son we knew and loved,” his family said in a statement over the weekend. “We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the honorable service members and police officers who were victims of the shooting our son committed on Thursday.” A police officer was among the wounded.

• The family has also told investigators the 24-year-old had been abusing drugs for some time, according to a source familiar with the family’s interviews with investigators. The drugs reportedly included “party drugs” and marijuana. Petty, Abdulazeez’s friend, told CNN that his buddy had a drug problem and used marijuana heavily, to the point that his parents were constantly calling to check on his whereabouts.

• Abdulazeez’s family sent him to Jordan last year to get him away from Chattanooga friends who they said were bad influences on him, the relatives told investigators. According to a family representative who asked for his name not to be used, Abdulazeez’s parents sent him to Jordan to stay with a family, with the hope of getting Abdulazeez away from his life of depression and drug use in Tennessee.

• Some relatives and friends told investigators they detected changes in his behavior after he returned from Jordan last year, a law enforcement official said.

• Jordanian security investigators have interviewed Abdulazeez’s extended family, asking where he went and with whom he spoke, government sources there told CNN.

• Authorities are investigating a text message from Abdulazeez to a friend before the attack, law enforcement sources said. The message included an Islamic verse that says, “Whoever shows enmity to a friend of mine, then I have declared war against him.”

• Abdulazeez had a hard time keeping a job because of his manic depressive/bipolar disorder and drug use, for which he had sought treatment with a psychiatrist, according to the source familiar with the family’s interviews.

• “It grieves us beyond belief to know that his pain found its expression in this heinous act of violence,” the Abdulazeez family said in its statement.

• Abdulazeez’s parents knew their son owned guns and wanted him to give them up, according to the family representative. He allegedly refused, saying he was an adult. Abdulazeez’s parents also tried to get him to seek substance abuse treatment, but he refused that also, the representative said.

Muslim community condemns

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A French teenager infected at birth with HIV has shown the ability to control levels of the infection in her body — without being on antiretroviral treatment.

The finding provides new hope that a “functional” cure for HIV — where the virus is brought down to low levels but not eradicated in the body — may one day be possible.

The 18-year-old female, whose mother was HIV positive, was given antiretroviral treatment soon after birth but stopped at age six and has since maintained undetectable levels of the virus in her blood — known as remission — for 12 years.

“This is the first [time] long-term remission has been shown in children, or adolescents,” said Asier Saez Cirion from the Institut Pasteur in France, who presented the findings at the 8th IAS conference on HIV pathogenesis, treatment and prevention, in Vancouver this week.

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President Barack Obama has renewed United States (U.S.) support for Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.

Obama spoke yesterday after hosting President Muhammadu Buhari at his Oval Office in Washington D.C., where he lauded his guest’s efforts at restoring “safety, security and peace” to Nigeria.

The U.S. President’s meeting with Buhari came less than eight weeks after Buhari assumed duty, underscoring the importance the U.S. attaches to good relations with Nigeria.

Obama had extended his invitation for a visit to Buhari almost immediately after he was declared the winner of the March 28 election.

Speaking after his meeting with Obama, President Buhari said Nigeria would be “ever grateful” to the U.S. for its support of free and credible elections in Nigeria, adding that the U.S.’s and the European Union’s (EU’s) pressure to ensure that the general elections on March 28 and April 11 were “fair and credible, led us to where we are now.”

Obama, who met with Buhari at the White House just days ahead of his trip to Kenya and Ethiopia, said Nigeria “is, obviously, one of the most important countries in the world.”

Speaking to reporters at the outset of the meeting, Obama said the U.S. hoped to partner with Nigeria “so that Nigeria ends up being not only an anchor of prosperity and stability in the western part of the continent, but can also be an outstanding role model for developing countries around the world.”

He said he would discuss with Buhari how the two nations can cooperate on counter-terrorism and how the U.S. “can be helpful in addressing some of the corruption issues that have held Nigeria back.”

Obama said Buhari, as President, has “a very clear agenda” to both contain the spread of militants and keep the Nigerian economy growing.

His words: “President Buhari comes into office with a reputation of integrity and a very clear agenda and that is to make sure that he is bringing safety, security and peace to this country.

“He (Buhari) is very concerned about the spread of Boko Haram and the violence that has taken place there and the atrocities that have taken place there and he has a very clear agenda of defeating Boko Haram and extremists of all sorts inside his country.

“And he has a very clear agenda with respect to rooting out the corruption that has too often held back the economic growth and prosperity of his country. On both these issues, we’re looking forward to hearing more about his plans and how the United States can partner with Nigeria.”

In what looked as an answer to some critics who felt the American President should have extended his tour of Kenya and Ethiopia scheduled for later this week, a U.S. official said President Buhari’ s U.S. trip was a better option.

The official, Grant Harris, a Senior Director for Africa for the National Security Council (NSC), said inviting President Buhari to the U.S. was a better option than a presidential trip to Nigeria, because it will allow the Nigerian president’s fledgling administration to meet with several top American officials.

Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser (NSA) Susan Rice were at Obama’s meeting with Buhari yesterday.

Besides, during his four-day visit, Buhari is scheduled to meet with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, Attorney-General Loretta Lynch, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman among others.

“This feels to us like Nigeria is at an important moment in which there can be real reforms across the board,” Harris, had told reporters last week.

He added: “We’re looking forward to what we can do with a president who has staked out an agenda that we think is the right agenda at the right time.”

Copied from The Nation

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has urged former President Olusegun Obasanjo to stop attacking the immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

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He appealed to Obasanjo to allow Jonathan retire into private life “devoid of mudslinging from an elder statesman like Obasanjo.”

Fayose said he was miffed that Obasanjo could choose the 11th convocation lecture of Benson Idahosa University, Benin, Edo State, to say that the “performance of Jonathan while in office will hunt the people of the South-South region for a long time to come.”

The governor, according to a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Monday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, argued that the people of the South-South had already demonstrated their approval of Jonathan’s performance while in office by voting overwhelmingly for him on March 28 despite the collision orchestrated by Obasanjo and his allies.

“Most importantly, Jonathan’s performance as a democrat has been widely acknowledged locally and internationally, particularly by President Muhammadu Buhari, who on many occasions, acknowledged the role he (Jonathan) played in evolving a peaceful and successful transition programme, thereby averting crisis in the country.

“This is in contrast to Baba Obasanjo, who tried (to have a) third term when he was about concluding his constitutional two terms. And who knows whether he would have tried fourth term if he had succeeded with his third term agenda?

“The reality is, assuming but not conceding that Jonathan performed below expectation, the democratic governance that he established in Nigeria is more important than any other performance that Obasanjo alluded to,” he added.

Fayose, while urging Obasanjo to stop running other Nigerians down, said, “We are all stakeholders in Nigeria. It is wrong for any Nigerian, no matter how highly placed, to go about carrying himself around as the only honest and lover of the country.

“Since Baba Obasanjo has openly destroyed his Peoples Democratic Party membership card, he is free to go about seeking relevance in the All Progressives Congress without running anyone down.”

Advising that “people living in glass houses should avoid throwing stones,” Fayose added that, “Nigerians know those involved in the Halliburton scandal, and people who are yet to be cleared of their alleged complicity in a scam like Halliburton lacked moral rights to brand other people as corrupt.”

copied from Punch Nigeria

On Monday, the Yobe State Police command confirmed the death of eight persons at a police checkpoint in Damaturu as reported by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Toyin Gbadegesin to Journalists.

Mr Toyin said three policemen and five suspected members of the insurgent died during the explosion which occurred around 11am.

He also said two more security personnel are currently at the Damaturu Specialist Hospital, receiving treatment.

The P.R.O also said two cars suspected to be carrying explosive devices were apprehended and in the process of looking for enforcement to convey the suspects to the state Police Command, the suspected terrorists triggered the Improvised Explosive Devices which killed five people on the spot, while three more died later in the hospital.

The PPRO said men of the Explosive Ordinance Department of the state Police Command were deployed to diffuse more IEDs discovered but have not yet exploded at the scene.

He called on the people of the state to be watchful as the terrorists seemed to be on the rampage over the past few days.

On Monday,20th of July 2015 President Buhari revealed that it would not be prudent or wise or be in the interest of the government to have formed his cabinet immediately he was inaugurated on May 29.

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Based on his article on Washington Post titled “Nigeria committed to good governance and fighting terror”, this clarification was made.

He said it was noteworthy that Obama himself did not have his full cabinet in place for several months after first taking office.

He said despite that delay, the US did not cease to function in the interim.

He said, “As I meet with President Obama today (Monday) the first time a President of the United States will encounter a Nigerian counterpart following the peaceful transfer of power in a contested election in our history — I will be discussing my plans for critical reforms.

“So, too, will I discuss why the formation of my administration is taking time and, crucially, why it must. Already, there are voices saying these changes are taking too long — even though only six weeks have passed since my inauguration. I hear such calls, but this task cannot and should not be rushed.

“When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office. It is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full Cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim.

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“In Nigeria’s case, it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound government to have made these appointments immediately on my elevation to the presidency; instead, Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place.

“I cannot stress how important it is to ensure that this process is carried out correctly, just as it has been crucial to first install the correct leadership of the military and security services before we fully take the fight to Boko Haram.”

Buhari has proved once again that he is a President to be respected not for his position but for his acts.

Former President George H.W. Bush fell Wednesday while at his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, breaking a vertebrae in his neck, but “it was not life threatening,” his spokesman Jim McGrath told CNN.
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Bush and his wife

Bush was taken to a hospital in nearby Portland where he is “very stable,” McGrath said.

The former president was never disoriented.

“We are not expecting a long stay,” McGrath said, though he added Bush would be treated with a neck brace.

Bush last month just turned 91. He revealed several years ago he suffers from a form of Parkinson’s disease.
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He was hospitalized in 2014 after suffering a shortness of breath. In 2012, he was in the hospital for several months after he contracted bronchitis.

Bush and his wife last week appeared at several events in Maine with hundreds of his son Jeb’s top donors to his presidential campaign.

Bush spokesman McGrath tweeted on Wednesday evening, “41 fell at home in Maine today and broke a bone in his neck. His condition is stable — he is fine — but he’ll be in a neck brace.”

Copied from CNN